Everyone in the world in some form or fashion is addicted to food. The extreme as to which food addiction is prevalent in your life varies from person to person. Some people crave candy, while others crave meat, in the end, every person in the world LOVES food and NEEDS food to live. There are some though, whose food addiction has become out of control, to the point where ALL they do is eat and or their way to cope with anything is eating. Food is everywhere… LITERALLY everywhere. How does someone, who has lost control of their food addiction, get back onto the correct path again and stay on it? What causes them to fail? These are what I believe were 5 of the reasons that caused me to fail as I was on my journey to becoming healthy again and dropping the excess weight I had gained.
1. Not forgiving yourself
How did I get here? I wasn’t always this way… What happened?
I hated how I looked in pictures, mirrors, pretty much anything I could see myself I would avoid at all costs. It felt like anytime I did I would see all the depression, hate, anger that I had internalized for so long inside be given a physical shape that others could see. For a long time, this was how I existed, not even lived, because I wasn’t living any type of life worth living at this point, but rather existing in the one I was given. I couldn’t forgive myself for what I had done to my body, the damage I had caused by eating my feelings to the point where others could take notice. In my own opinion, this was the biggest reason I would always fail anytime I would attempt to change and live a healthier lifestyle. I believe that anyone wanting any kind of change needs to reflect on the choices they had made which got them to where they are now. If you can’t fully accept responsibility, but most of all if you can’t forgive yourself for your own actions, you WILL always fail, especially when it comes to dieting.
2. 0-100 mentality
This defined many of the reasons I would give up on dieting and living a healthier lifestyle. I would go from “0”, meaning I would eat whatever I want, when I wanted etc. and go to “100”, where I would try to only eat healthy foods only. I would maybe last a few days, a week, until something happened and I would immediately turn to my coping mechanism: food. This would create a dual problem for me because not only was using food now as my coping mechanism by doing this I would “fall off” the horse. Those feelings of failure/depression would compound on top of me coping with something entirely different. It wasn’t until later, I learned to ease into eating healthier, by slowly changing things I was and wasn’t eating rather than going all in. This served me greatly, even though I would use food as a way of coping, the food that I normally would cope with to some extent was still in my healthy food plan.
3. Not cooking your own food
Everyone can cook to some extent, there are numerous resources out there that you can learn from to improve. A lot goes into cooking your own food, which is why most people don’t do it because it would be way simpler to either turn the microwave on or go out to eat. By going through the process, buying, prepping and cooking my meals, I learned to respect food more and more. This allowed me to weaken the hold that food had on me and give the power of control back to me.
4. Not educating yourself
Yes, some days you won’t be able to prepare your own food, but healthy food options are prevalent everywhere. Educate yourself, learn more about what makes food healthy, unhealthy etc. When you walk into a grocery store you will be bombarded with things say Sugar-Free, Fat-Free or Gluten Free… the list goes on and on. Just because a food is “free” of something does that make whatever it doesn’t have something that is bad for you? NO!
5. Following someone else’s Plan
Every time I wanted to start eating healthier, I would look for and follow someone else’s diet. Unaware that what worked for them would not necessarily work for me…. Even though they were far more knowledgeable and experienced, they were not ME. It never occurred to me, until after many failed attempts that I needed to find something that worked for me. That plan would include foods I enjoy and revolve around a schedule I could commit too. What I could do though is use someone else’s plan as a template for creating my own. When I started doing this I would fall off the wagon less and less. This was due to me being able to commit to a plan, which I had come up on my own and made it MINE.